“The Champagne Diaries” author creates a buzz at The Bookmark Shoppe

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Bubbly Bay Ridge writer Cara Alwill Leyba felt so “beautiful, sexy, and worthy” when she sipped a flute of fizz that she was inspired to write a blog and a book entitled, “The Champagne Diaries.”

“I want every woman to feel that way about her life every day,” said the effervescent MTV worker, who co-hosted a fete at The Bookmark Shoppe on Saturday for area merchants.

The ladies’ night — sorry guys, you’re scheduled for the next bender! — was billed “Keep Calm and Drink Champagne: A Night of Jazz, Books and Bellinis,” and featured lots of cool stuff for outgoing bookworms, including jazz music, cupcakes from Kimmarie Picinnino’s Marcy’s Sweet Creations, and storewide sales, washed down with tongue-tingling champagne and peach cocktails.

Alwill Leyba named the event after the catchy slogan, “Keep Calm and Carry On,” coined during World War II by Winston Churchill, and co-hosted the event with Bookmark owner Christine Freglette, in part, to promote her healthy lifestyle guide book. The word is that “Diaries” is generating plenty of buzz — here and around the world — ahead of its publication date.

“It’s kind of like a self-help book with a Chelsea Handler twist, if that makes sense? Funny yet inspiratio­nal,” she explains.

Glamor and Shape magazines, Cosmopolitan South Afica, Times of India, and More Magazine U.K. are just some of the media outlets that have written about the entrepreneur’s heady tips on how to stave off unwanted pounds without the ultimate buzz-killer — self-deprivation. We haven’t yet created a magical pill to make us all skinny, or a surefire way to keep weight off forever, but what we do have is the choice to treat our bodies with the utmost respect, explained Alwill Leyba, who recoils from the word, “diet.”

“It’s about eating high-quality, nutrition-rich foods, and always making room for champagne,” she said. “Dessert tastes a hell of a lot better in a champagne flute than it does in a piece of fattening, sugar-laden cake!”

The feel-good guru of “no forbidden foods” came up with “Diaries” after battling the scale for years with unsuccessful diets that excluded alcohol. Then she discovered that champers delivered 100 calories per glass. That, added to its deluxe reputation, made it the perfect extravagant accompaniment to a sensible eating plan, according to Alwill Leyba.

“I encourage glamorizing your meals,” she said. “Don’t order the fatty cheeseburger with fries and cola, instead, get a smoked salmon bagel with a mixed greens salad and a glass of champagne.”

The experts agree with her stimulating logic.

“Findings have shown that champagne can help protect the brain against neurological injuries during a stroke,” said Dr. Pallavi Srivastava in the Times of India article, although she warned that excessive drinking increased the risk of long-term health damage, and that champagne is more intoxicating than other alcoholic beverages.

Alwill Leyba raises a mindful glass to that while serving up another reason to pop the cork.

“The best benefit of all? Champagne is a proven libido booster,” she says.

We’ll drink to that!

Reach reporter Shavana Abruzzo at or by calling (718) 260-2529.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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